People are likely to spend an average of £7,169 on a new or used car during March-August 2011, the highest figure for three years, according to a new survey by Sainsbury's Finance.
The figure is up £527 over the September 2010-February 2011 period.
The increase in figures comes despite a decline in the number of people planning to change their vehicle.
Approximately 7.15 million people plan to buy a new or used car during March-August this year, down from 7.68 million during the previous six months to the end of February.
The highest proportion of people planning to buy a new or used vehicle during the March-August period is in Greater London (19%).
The collective amount likely to be spent by people on a new or used car during the next six months is the highest in south east England, at £10.5 billion.
Steven Baillie, head of loans at Sainsbury's Finance, said: "Although the number of people looking to buy a car has slightly dropped, the car industry should not be disheartened as the figures in this latest index present a much more encouraging picture for the sector than they did just 18 months to two years ago."
© Press Association 2011